Food waste depackaging companies highlighted

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Food waste depackaging companies highlighted
Detailed information outlining the technology available to remove packaging from food waste prior to anaerobic processing has been published by the UK’s Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

The government-sponsored body said the study, called “Review of Food Waste De-packaging Equipment”, could help eliminate a “potential barrier” to the success of the recycling initiative.

Depackaging technology is an important innovation since it enables anaerobic digestion (AD) and in-vessel composting (IVC) operators to accept packaged food waste from food manufacturers and retailers, said WRAP. One of the organisation’s major objectives is to promote extra capacity for composting and anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic waste – including food.

Depackaging suppliers identified

At present, there are only two anaerobic digestion plants in the UK with food waste de-packaging facilities. Consequently, “AD plant operators do not currently have a high level of knowledge or capacity to remove the food packaging materials prior to processing”, said the report

The review, compiled by SLR Consulting Ltd, has identified suppliers of food waste depackaging equipment, as well as providing technical information and performance data about their operations.

In total, nine companies supplied technical data about their operations. The information from the five UK firms and four from Germany is now displaye in data-sheet form on WRAP’s existing Organics web pages. It includes contact details, throughput capacity, design applications, delivery times and required service intervals.

SLR said other de-packaging food waster suppliers were identified but did not wish to have information on the WRAP website.

Wide selection

Richard Swannell, Director of Retail & Organics at WRAP, said: “Food waste processors have found that recycling packaged food waste has been a problem in the past. However, this report highlights that there is now a wide selection of de-packaging equipment on the market.

“By compiling this information into a simple online format, we hope to encourage IVC and AD operators, and retailers and food manufacturers alike to consider how this technology could benefit them.”

Food waste has been identified as the major component of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) and forms a significant part of commercial waste. According to WRAP estimates, the UK produces up to 11.3m tonnes of commercial and industrial food waste annually. This element will “contain a higher proportion of packaging waste than the estimated 6.7m tones of domestically generated food waste”,​ said the report.

To see the report and view information about the nine depackaging companies click here.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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